12.01.18

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EPO Management High-Fiving Patent Propaganda Sites Like ‘Managing IP’ While Granting Illegitimate Patents on Algorithms

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A muscle car

Summary: Having mastered the art of hype and buzzwords, the management of the EPO carries on pretending that it does nothing wrong by rubber-stamping abstract patents on mathematics

THE software patents promotion by the European Patent Office (EPO) under António Campinos is no laughing matter; it almost guarantees the demise of Europe’s flourishing software industry (which involves many lesser-known systems that corporate media in America rarely covers, e.g. SCADA).

Europe’s car industry is also noteworthy, especially because of Germany’s dependence on it. We recently covered cases of patent lawsuits against German car-makers; some of these are software patents. “Self-Driving” as the EPO puts it means mostly computer vision, i.e. algorithms/mathematical methods; these are illegitimate patents. Why does the EPO violate the EPC which is its founding document?

Just before the weekend the EPO uttered these words: “Europe and the US have a strong lead in self-driving vehicle innovation with about 1 400 European patent applications each in 2017 alone. See how other regions performed here: http://bit.ly/SDVstudy #SelfDriving #FutureOfCars pic.twitter.com/isyFESqbKL”

They make it look like bingo or some kind of competition; but what they actually enumerate there boils down to monopolies. How many of these are legitimate? What proportion? It’s hard to tell because very few will be tested in court in their lifetime as patents.

The patent maximalists couldn’t be happier about the above. As we mentioned here before (only a few days ago), Managing IP is throwing petals at António’s feet (as it did his appointer, Battistelli, before him). The EPO has just retweeted this: “Most influential people in IP: António Campinos, EPO http://www.managingip.com/Article/3846046/Managing-Patents-Archive/Most-influential-people-in-IP-Antnio-Campinos-EPO.html … António Campinos has so far succeeded in improving relations in the upper echelons of the @EPOorg since taking over as president in July. #MIP50 pic.twitter.com/2OF7kVlaLl”

This tweet is a lie. It’s whitewashing. Ask EPO workers if he is “improving relations”; he’s not. He certainly pretends to, but it isn’t working anymore. The impatience has turned into sourness.

As if the above retweet wasn’t enough, the EPO added: “. @ManagingIP has named EPO President António Campinos one of the most influential people in IP. “António Campinos has so far succeeded in improving relations in the upper echelons of the EPO since taking over as president in July.” Read more: https://bit.ly/2QpIQ17 #MIP50″

Remember this is the same Managing IP that repeatedly whitewashed Battistelli and promoted the UPC with the EPO. It’s hardly an independent publisher and it shows. It has long been a propaganda platform of the EPO and the UPC (check who funds it) and it seems like quite a few writers have resigned (we no longer see their names). Moreover, as I pointed out to them in Twitter, “António Campinos just got his job from his French compatriot and friend, corrupt Battistelli…”

The very name of the site gives it away; they call patents “property” (which they're not) and another person to be crowned by them just now is a Watchtroll-connected lobbyist who supported patent trolls too (i.e. just the cup of tea of Managing IP‘s sponsors). In their own words: “Most influential people in IP: Manny Schecter, IBM http://www.managingip.com/Article/3846050/Managing-Patents-Archive/Most-influential-people-in-IP-Manny-Schecter-IBM.html … @IBM’s chief patent counsel tells Managing IP about holding onto the number one patent filing spot in the US, his concerns about Section 101 and his passion for IP education. #MIP50 pic.twitter.com/N9TLJkwmSi

They mean patent indoctrination (maximalism), not “IP education”, and he’s a vocal proponent of software patents, which his employer uses extensively for extortion, having been armed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). He habitually attacks Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) because they get in IBM’s way (with blackmail).

Going back to the EPO, however, D Young & Co LLP wrote about “Allowed text at the EPO” and R. K. Dewan & Co in India takes note of the EPO illegally granting software patents by exploiting the buzzword “AI” — a strategy we’ve long criticised. To quote:

Science and Technology have been unfolding new eras of growth. With each new ground breaking invention, there arises the need to protect the intellect invested in the innovations. However, granting protection can indeed be very challenging keeping in mind the high standards of pre-requisites for granting of Patents.

Recently, the European Patent Office (EPO) issued certain guidelines for patentability of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). The guidelines state that AI & ML are based on computational models and algorithms for classification, clustering, regression and dimensionality reduction, such as neural networks, genetic algorithms, support vector machines, k-means, kernel regression and discriminant analysis. The guidelines state that such computational models and algorithms are per se of an “abstract mathematical nature”, irrespective of whether they can be “trained” based on training data. The guideline focusses on mathematical algorithms to have a technical character. It states that at the time of examining, the claimed subject-matter must be examined with expressions such as “support vector machine”, “reasoning engine” or “neural network”, since these terms usually refer to abstract models which are devoid of a technical character.

I’ve personally implemented some of the above; they’re pure software and are thus patent-ineligible as per the EPC, courts etc. No doubt the EPO, supported by the media it got by the pocket (or the balls), will carry on lying about it.

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